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Types of hypertension in pregnancy

Types of hypertension in pregnancy


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Hypertension problems can appear before pregnancy or be triggered during pregnancy. About 8 percent of women have hypertension during pregnancy. However, it is now possible to treat this problem with proper prenatal care and controls.

The force exerted by blood against the inside of the arteries, which are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, is known as blood pressure. When it rises more than normal, hypertension or high blood pressure appears. Hypertension problems can appear before pregnancy or be triggered during pregnancy. Approximately, 8 percent of women have hypertension during pregnancy.

However, it is now possible to treat this problem with proper prenatal care and controls, since all types of hypertension can have risks for the pregnant woman and her baby. There are different types of hypertension that affect pregnant women.

At each prenatal visit, the doctor measures the pregnant woman's blood pressure by placing the blood pressure monitor, an inflatable cuff, around her upper arm. Blood pressure takes two measurements. On the one hand, it is measured while the heart contracts (systolic pressure) and, on the other, when it is relaxed between contractions (diastolic pressure).

Blood pressure values ​​are expressed as two numbers: the upper number represents the systolic pressure and the lower number the diastolic pressure, for example 110/80. When the value of the systolic pressure is 140 or higher and the diastolic pressure value reaches 90 or higher levels we are in a state of hypertension.

In any case, because blood pressure can rise and fall during the day, specialists usually repeat the measurement several times to obtain an average value that determines if the woman really has hypertension and it must be controlled to avoid risks in pregnancy.

There are four main types of hypertension during pregnancy:

1. Gestational hypertension. It is also known as transient hypertension and is a type of pregnancy-induced hypertension. Generally, it usually appears after 20 weeks of pregnancy and disappears after delivery. Women with gestational hypertension do not have protein in their urine, however, some of them develop preeclampsia later in pregnancy. The chances of developing pre-eclampsia are 50 percent, if gestational hypertension appears before 30 weeks. In contrast, if gestational hypertension occurs after 36 weeks of gestation, hypertension is generally moderate.

2. Preeclampsia. It affects 15 percent of pregnant women, but if detected early it can be controlled and its risks for both mother and baby can be reduced. It usually develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy and disappears after delivery. In the most severe cases, it can lead to eclampsia, which is the severe phase of preeclampsia, when hypertension is accompanied by seizures and / or coma. This disorder is characterized by a rise in blood pressure caused by pregnancy and by the presence of protein in the urine.

3. Chronic hypertension. In this case, the mother was already hypertensive before she became pregnant. Therefore, high blood pressure in these patients is usually diagnosed before pregnancy or is detected before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Being chronic, this type of hypertension does not go away after delivery. In 90 percent of cases, chronic arterial hypertension is of unknown cause and in only 10 percent of patients, hypertension is secondary to another disease such as diabetes, kidney and heart disease, and autoimmune diseases, among others.

4. Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia. About 25 percent of women with chronic hypertension also develop preeclampsia. It is more common in multiparous women and is characterized by severe hypertension and increased uric acid in the blood. This hypertensive picture is dangerous as it can lead to kidney and liver damage, seizures and coma.

Marisol New. Copywriter

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